Tag Archives: Bill Hader

Who is the BFF in The BFG?

4 Jul

BFGPosterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’m willing to bet that in North America, those who grew up on CBC’s The Friendly Giant (which had its roots in radio) will get what The BFG is all about. In this film, although the concept is different and written by Roald Dahl who most likely had little awareness of this television show, to have a gentle grandfatherly figure recount tales of yore would really add to this product more. If only some of those ideas could have been put into this film, then just maybe, it would draw those who probably have not read Dahl’s work — but at least heard of the children’s television program — into checking out this film.

The lead, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), is nicely cast. Mark Rylance has this air of gentleness and his performance must have been motion captured for computer rendering. This modern version certainly pays tribute to the design featured in the animated 1989 film, and while I have not looked at the original books in ages, I certainly took note of the elephantine ears presented in that version. This movie certainly respects the roots and plays with the story somewhat to make it “current” to its timeline. The sets are gorgeous to look at.

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Cloudy with a Chance of No More Sequels?

2 Oct

Cloudy_with_a_Chance_of_Meatballs_2By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Some viewers might be gasping for air after watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. A huge part of this movie relies on sight gags and figuring out the names of the various foodimals—creatures born from food before they are identified. Deep in the torrid jungle of leeks, apple-piethons and widebeets is a plethora of puns that are only really effective to hear once. When the best parts of the movie are revealed in the early trailers, to finally see those moments on the big screen falls flat. If there is a part of the film that works, that’s with the end-credits since no one has seen an early preview of.

The story here is borrowed from a familiar concept: Chester V (Will Forte) is a wealthy and much adored scientist who runs The Live Corp Company. He rides on the work and success of other scientists’ ideas. If he has created anything new lately, the movie does not show any sign of it. He’s a mishmash of innovators—like that of Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs—who has more than a futurists’ vision of how life should be like in the next century. Even Walt Disney had a foresight to create a wonderful world; in this movie, it’s an island paradise occupied by living plants and manufactured food products.

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